Kisspeptin is essential for reproductive functions in humans. As a model for the human we have used the female guinea pig, which has a long ovulatory cycle similar to that of primates. Initially, we cloned a guinea pig kisspeptin cDNA sequence and subsequently explored the distribution and 17β-estradiol (E2) regulation of kisspeptin mRNA (Kiss1) and protein (kisspeptin) by using in situ hybridization, real-time PCR and immunocytochemistry. In ovariectomized females, Kiss1 neurons were scattered throughout the preoptic periventricular areas (PV), but the vast majority of Kiss1 neurons were localized in the arcuate nucleus (Arc). An E2 treatment that first inhibits (negative feedback) and then augments (positive feedback) serum luteinizing hormone (LH) increased Kiss1 mRNA density and number of cells expressing Kiss1 in the PV at both time points. Within the Arc, Kiss1 mRNA density was reduced at both time points. Quantitative real-time PCR confirmed the in situ hybridization results during positive feedback. E2 reduced the number of immunoreactive kisspeptin cells in the PV at both time points, perhaps an indication of increased release. Within the Arc, the kisspeptin immunoreactivity was decreased during negative feedback but increased during positive feedback. Therefore, it appears that in guinea pig both the PV and the Arc kisspeptin neurons act cooperatively to excite gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons during positive feedback. We conclude that E2 regulation of negative and positive feedback may reflect a complex interaction of the kisspeptin circuitry, and both the PV and the Arc respond to hormone signals to encode excitation of GnRH neurons during the ovulatory cycle.
- Indexing terms: In situ hybridization
- Quantitative real-time PCR
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